European companies and those who process the data of EU citizens are expected to spend upwards of $1.4 million toward GDPR compliance efforts by May 25, and American companies are not far behind. However, companies panicking because of the tighter rules on data use are missing an important point: GDPR is a huge opportunity.
GDPR boils down to consent (consumers having to physically opt in for businesses to use any of their personal data, and they can opt out at any time) and transparency. Failure to comply has already resulted in heavy fines for some companies, signaling that non-compliance is a non-option.
Companies that find creative, valuable ways of communicating why they need data, how they're storing it and what they're going to do with it are the ones that will succeed. Some examples of companies collecting data with value in mind are:
- Warby Parker - In exchange for your email, Warby Parker’s online quiz figures out what glasses work best for you with a follow-up email on suggested styles. Win-win for Warby and its customers.
- Unbounce - Unbounce’s Landing Page Analyzer tests a landing page’s likelihood to convert and provides a personalized report with tactics to improve it in exchange for information like a user’s name, email and company.
That said, explaining why you need data and how you plan to utilize it will be much easier if you have a thorough plan for organizing it and protecting your customers' wishes. And, especially if you're not planning to hire someone to be a data protection officer full-time, a customer data platform like DataSwitch can be a lifesaver.
In the end, if your customers know that you have their data privacy top of mind and that you won't abuse it, it will strengthen the relationship you have with them, adding a level of trust and value that may not have been there before GDPR. It will increase customer engagement, loyalty and, ultimately, your bottom line.
A recent survey by MyCustomer, Europe's leading online resource for customer-focused professionals, revealed that 81 percent of consumers said they'd be more likely to share their personal data when GDPR takes effect.
That's why it's critical to have the right technology in place to show that you practice responsible data management. It reduces the likelihood of a data breach and demonstrates to customers that your approach to data is designed with privacy in mind.